Keystone Symposia: Histone Code: Fact or Fiction?

Venue: Zermatt Resort and Spa

Location: Midway, Utah, United States

Event Date/Time: Jan 10, 2011 End Date/Time: Jan 15, 2011
Registration Date: Jan 10, 2011
Early Registration Date: Nov 10, 2010
Abstract Submission Date: Oct 13, 2010
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It has become customary to refer to posttranslational histone modifications in all contexts as “epigenetic”, and to refer to a histone ‘code’. In certain contexts, histone modifications contribute to the epigenetic maintenance, whereas in others, they don’t. Similarly, some of the phenomena attributed to the posttranslational modification of histones do not fall into the strict definition of a ‘histone code’.
This meeting strives to bring together scientists from different ‘camps’, to illuminate the effects of posttranslational modifications from many viewpoints. The emphasis here is on the effect of PTMs on the structure and readout of the genome, and less on the enzymatic activities and their regulation. Speakers will be encouraged to engage in rigorous discussion, as is obvious in the format for the opening and closing session which will be held in discussion format. In particular, we plan to
• Investigate how histone modifications participate in the maintenance of epigenetic information
• Elaborate on recent findings that epigenetic states are likely conveyed as a dynamic equilibrium of opposing modifying activities that involves feedback loops, and talk about ‘epigenetic memory’
• How do histone modifications affect nucleosome / chromatin structure and stability / interaction with chromatin architectural proteins?
• Discuss the responsiveness of the epigenetic process, and the 3-D interplay in the nuclear environment that ultimately decides which gene will be fired up.
• Have a workshop highlighting newest approaches / technologies to study histone modification states.
• Have a final round table discussion to perhaps re-define and tighten up terminology, and to consolidate viewpoints where possible.